As a blogger and small business owner you probably wear several hats every day. You’re a writer, photographer, marketing executive, and a myriad of other things. One of those hats is, or at least should be, bookkeeper and tax guy.
You have to know a little bit about everything. So here’s the skinny on taxes for bloggers. (We highly recommend seeking out an expert if you have questions – we’d love to talk about your taxes and become your resident tax guy if it’s a good fit for you!
Estimated taxes aren’t something most traditional employees have to worry about. If you were to look at your pay stub from your employer you’d see that some of your paycheck was being withheld to pay these taxes. The US tax system operates on a “pay-as-you-go” basis. Where no money is being deducted from your blogging paycheck, you’re responsible to pay estimated taxes quarterly to the IRS.
If you don’t expect to earn at least $1,000 in blogging income, you may be able to avoid paying estimated taxes. But if you do, you’re expected to pay estimated taxes, due on: April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15 (this is in the following year but applies to the fourth quarter or September 1 – December 31 of the prior tax year.)
As far as the IRS is concerned, working as a blogger means you own your own business. Self-employment tax is the combined Social Security and Medicare taxes paid by an employee and an employer. If you look at that pay stub form your employer you’d see these withholdings itemized each paycheck. Since you’re both the employee and the employer, you get to pay both sides of the tax.
Good news! Because your blog is considered a business by the IRS, you’re able to deduct expenses that are considered necessary to your profession. Deductions typically can be made for just about anything that you use for your business – domain name and registration fees, blog design and logo creation, business cards, office supplies, a new computer or software that you use for your business, and so on.
Learn more about deductible expenses for bloggers and whether your blog is considered a business or a hobby.
To learn more about accounting for bloggers, visit these posts: